Latest update: April 9th, 2012
Adnan Oktar (also known by his pen name Harun Yahya), a prominent Turkish intellectual and religious leader with a mass following, has communicated and met personally over the past decade with many Orthodox rabbis from Israel and abroad, expressing his friendship to the Jewish nation and his reverence to the Torah.
Oktar has sent via the Jewish Press his blessing to the Jewish nation on the occasion of Passover:
While we remember the Prophet Moses’, peace be upon him, exodus from the oppression of the Pharaoh, and God’s help during this amazing journey, we pray for the blessings of God upon all His servants. May God send His Mashiach soon, and bring the days that we can altogether make Korban (sacrifice) in peace and joy in the Holy Land.
[God said:] And remember, We delivered you from the people of Pharaoh: They set you hard tasks and punishments, slaughtered your sons and let your women-folk live; therein was a tremendous trial from your Lord.
And remember We divided the sea for you and saved you and drowned Pharaoh’s people within your very sight. And remember We appointed forty nights for Moses, and in his absence you took the calf (for worship), and you did grievous wrong. Even then We did forgive you; there was a chance for you to be grateful. And remember We gave Moses the Scripture and the Criterion (Between right and wrong): There was a chance for you to be guided aright. (Quran, 2:49-53)
Back in 2009, I conducted a short interview with Adnan Oktar over the email, which I will bring here. It is important to note that while our relations with official Turkey are at an unprecedented low, there are prominent, religious Muslim voices inside Turkey, which offer friendship and empathy to the Jews and to the Jewish state.
Yanover: First, may I congratulate you on your vision for peace in the Middle East and, indeed, the world, and on your staunch campaign to promote the values of Monotheism. A religious Jew, I am touched when I encounter reason and compassion among the nations, and your life’s work gives me hope for the future of humanity.
How pragmatic is your vision for a united Turkish-Islamic Near-East? Do you see it as coming to pass under the rule of a Divine redeemer, or is it a plan to be accomplished by people in this pre-Messianic reality? If it is the latter, you must be aware of the obstacles in many Muslim states to the development of democratic institutions and efficient, corruption-free state bureaucracies. How would you overcome these difficulties?
Adnan Oktar: Every day, important and positive developments regarding the formation of the Turkish-Islamic Union are taking place, although the real establishment of this union will take place under the leadership of Hazrat Mahdi, peace be upon him (the Muslim version of the Redeemer – YY). According to the information handed down from the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, Hazrat Mahdi, peace be upon him, will unite the fragmented Turkic and Islamic states and establish a great and powerful union.
Under his leadership, the Turkish-Islamic Union will be a union of love and friendship. Every state will preserve its own constitutional structure, but there will be full cooperation in defense, trade, science, art, love and brotherhood, as well as the beauty and abundance brought about by that cooperation. Hazrat Mahdi, pbuh, will be instrumental in the Turkish-Islamic world delighting in love, depth, compassion, peacefulness, art and beauty, and in scaling the peaks of modernity and nobility. And the devotion and love felt for Hazrat Mahdi, pbuh, will be instrumental in all disputes being resolved in a matter of minutes. As a requirement of the moral values of the Qur’an, the Turkish-Islamic Union will be one that attaches great importance to democracy, laicism and freedom of ideas, and these values will acquire increasing importance in all the states affiliated to the union.
Things that seem to be obstacles on the path to the establishment of the Turkish-Islamic Union are unimportant. The coming of Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh), the unification of the Turkish-Islamic world, the spread of moral virtues and the glory of Allah being praised everywhere is Allah’s promise. It will certainly be made good. Allah’s promise is true and Allah does not break His promise.
Yanover: Your love for all monotheistic people is clear and admirable. But while Jews are devoid of a directive to convert others to our faith, the very foundation of most Christian denominations is the command to bring others into theirs. Is it possible for God-loving men to live in peace with a large Christian element fomenting such aggressive intentions? Would it not spell constant tension and unrest within the community of God?
Adnan Oktar: It is natural for members of all faiths to think their beliefs are true and to defend them. Jews, Muslims and Christians have a perfect right to defend and tell others of their beliefs. However, it is of course unacceptable to try to force anyone to be a Christian or compel anyone to be a Muslim. Such a thing has no place in Islam. In verse 256 of Surat al-Baqara, Allah reveals, “There is no compulsion where the religion is concerned.”
I do not believe my Christian brothers will put any such pressure or duress on others either. Jews, Christians and Muslims can all live together as servants who believe in the one Allah, who love Him and call upon Him. The important thing is to be very honest. No problems will arise so long as people are honest, because honest people never do anything incompatible with good conscience. They never do anything that will be displeasing to Allah. Lovelessness, harshness, oppression and compulsion are all displeasing to Allah. Those who love Allah stay well away from them.
Yanover: In your discussions of Israel’s future in the region, you distinguish between religious Zionists, whom you embrace, and atheists, whom you condemn. It is my impression that the Israel you wish to see thriving in a future united Turkish-Islamic Middle East is strictly run by religious Zionism. But the Jewish view of ourselves is inclusive, and we love equally as brothers the Jews who are not devoted to our faith. Is there room in your vision for the future for a secular, democratic Israel, with all its many obvious faults, pretty much as it is today?
Adnan Oktar: With the complete intellectual elimination of Darwinism in the near future, by Allah’s leave, materialism and atheism will also come to an end. Irreligion will completely disappear. Belief in Allah, love for Allah and the fervor thereof will rule everywhere. Israel will be much more devout, insha’Allah, and all the countries in the world will be completely religious. All states will preserve their democratic structures in the Turkish-Islamic Union I am espousing, and this Union will in any case represent the greatest embodiment of democracy there has ever been. Believers and non-believers will both be treated as first-class citizens. Israel is currently living under very difficult conditions and constant tension, and has economic problems. It has literally gone up a dead-end, and the Turkish-Islamic Union will be Israel’s salvation in that regard, insha’Allah. Israeli citizens will worship and do business and settle where they wish in security, not only in their own lands, but in the whole Middle East. Borders, pressure and walls will all disappear, and there will be a glorious climate of wealth and security.
Yanover: We understand you are in the middle of continuing legal proceedings. Bearing that in mind, how do you regard the latest international and domestic events in Turkey?
Adnan Oktar: It is the alleged terror organization Ergenekon that is opposed to my activities in Turkey, in other words, the communist deep state within the state. Otherwise, the Turkish state is highly rational, just and trust-inspiring. It is the alleged Ergenekon terror organization that has been trying to hinder me with unbelievable slanders and lies for the last 30 years. The Turkish state is a deep-rooted and sound one, and never falls into such people’s traps. In fact, there is a huge clean-out going on in Turkey against this sinister institution. The Kurds are our dear brothers, and there are no differences between us. Our Kurdish brothers are very polite, virtuous and devout people. It is the alleged terror organization Ergenekon that has inflicted such terrible oppression on them for so many years. The Turkish Army and state is highly loving and protective towards these citizens. That love will increase still further, respect for human rights and democracy will grow and Turkey will enjoy a much better position, insha’Allah. There is no need for our Jewish brothers to be uneasy about Turkey’s Middle East policy. The People of the Book are entrusted to us by Allah. And we will not allow a hair on their heads to be harmed, insha’Allah.
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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